Russian linguist contractor vs government: any advice?

highdigger

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I'm in the military. Have russian language skills, clearance, but not much experience in the field besides being native speaker. Looking for any advice on how to apply for the government positions.

I see there are lots of open contracting positions for russian linguist/language enabled intel analyst. And those positions don't fill up quickly popping up with different contractors again and again. The same story with government positions. I've been monitoring usajobs the same positions come up again and again. Agency posts it for a 2-4 weeks, closes it and posts again in couple months. However when I apply for them I get zero response or feedback. Three letter agencies haven't even called me back after I filled applications on their websites. I know there's obvious shortage of such linguists with clearance. I have such clearance and some contractors are willing to pay 100 grand with no experience in the field and ready even wait 6 months when I'm separated from the service. I'd stay in but afraid my career progression wouldn't be as good and I end up doing some dumb work unrelated stuff. Contractors want me now and government is ignoring me? What's up with it? Government relies on civillian contractors in this field or those actual government positions are made for very specific people criteria? Advice needed.

thanks
 

AWP

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I've worked with a number of contractors who did that to bridge the gap while waiting for a GS gig to open up. On my old contract with Lockheed (I'm an IT guy), the PM expected to lose 1-2 guys a year to the FAA. Contracting also lets you pay the bills, build experience, and put away some money in the bank.

I may be biased but I'd take a contracting gig and press for a GS position.
 

Florida173

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Tons of options, but the language skills are only bonus. Check to see the companies at EUCOM and SOCEUR if you really care about those language skills, but don't expect to be hired as a linguist. Maybe check Mission Essentials.
 

highdigger

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What happened with reclassing 35L? If you don't still want to do that why don't you try 35M or 35P - Russian language is in high demand.
Well I didn't adjust very well to the conventional army. Again, I don't wanna be placed on details, pick my nose all day or deploy to Korea or any other place where I can't use my language but will be used to pull security 24/7. I think I can get 90k until next milper message if reclass unto 35P. But on ACT I don't really see any 35m, 35l, or 35p in any unconventional positions (away from Bragg, gordon, Lewis) that actually would utilize my language. They pay now for language too but its only 6k taxable income a year at max and who knows if they get to be friends with Russia again and demand will go down => number of details will go up. Plus I don't want to waste my time on army leadership schools, cleaning weapons, ruck marches, etc. I like to ask too many questions and some people don't like it assuming everyone should be happy with what given by generous government. Plus retention in my unit sucks. Really sucks. Thanks for reminder that I can go for these Moses. I wish I liked army culture or learned that Intel culture is more relaxed but after working with AF on their missions I see them as much more professional.

I may be biased but I'd take a contracting gig and press for a GS position.
Thanks. Contracting options I have are basically 8 to 5 jobs supporting military operations. I like hours though.

Tons of options, but the language skills are only bonus. Check to see the companies at EUCOM and SOCEUR if you really care about those language skills, but don't expect to be hired as a linguist. Maybe check Mission Essentials.
Thanks. Are those government positions from usajobs or contracting? I didn't see as many openings for Europe at booz allen even in Germany that would make me look like a competitive candidate.
 

Il Duce

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Well I didn't adjust very well to the conventional army. Again, I don't wanna be placed on details, pick my nose all day or deploy to Korea or any other place where I can't use my language but will be used to pull security 24/7. I think I can get 90k until next milper message if reclass unto 35P. But on ACT I don't really see any 35m, 35l, or 35p in any unconventional positions (away from Bragg, gordon, Lewis) that actually would utilize my language. They pay now for language too but its only 6k taxable income a year at max and who knows if they get to be friends with Russia again and demand will go down => number of details will go up. Plus I don't want to waste my time on army leadership schools, cleaning weapons, ruck marches, etc. I like to ask too many questions and some people don't like it assuming everyone should be happy with what given by generous government. Plus retention in my unit sucks. Really sucks. Thanks for reminder that I can go for these Moses. I wish I liked army culture or learned that Intel culture is more relaxed but after working with AF on their missions I see them as much more professional.

For government jobs at the 3-letter agencies an existing clearance, language skills, and military experiences are all pluses - but they're not kingmakers. They look at each of those qualifications in detail - as well as education and background. Past performance is weighted heavily. So, if you're a mediocre Soldier that may be holding you back from those jobs. But I don't know enough about your application process to know if that's why folks are passing. Contractors weight all that stuff differently - they're mostly looking if you meet minimum requirements. Generally translation/transcription services require 3/3 language skills (tested) and the ability to hold a TS/SCI clearance. If you meet those requirements there's likely contractor work.

Good luck.
 

highdigger

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For government jobs at the 3-letter agencies an existing clearance, language skills, and military experiences are all pluses - but they're not kingmakers. They look at each of those qualifications in detail - as well as education and background. Past performance is weighted heavily. So, if you're a mediocre Soldier that may be holding you back from those jobs. But I don't know enough about your application process to know if that's why folks are passing. Contractors weight all that stuff differently - they're mostly looking if you meet minimum requirements. Generally translation/transcription services require 3/3 language skills (tested) and the ability to hold a TS/SCI clearance. If you meet those requirements there's likely contractor work.

Good luck.
Thanks. I def meet all the min requirements. I guess being mediocre soldier holds me back from being hired by 3 letter agencies and have to go with booz allen. I could be great cultural advisor with my 4/4/4 on opi and dlpt upper range combined but you might be right and they're not looking for cleared linguist but rather for grunt with good evaluations..
 

CDG

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Thanks. I def meet all the min requirements. I guess being mediocre soldier holds me back from being hired by 3 letter agencies and have to go with booz allen. I could be great cultural advisor with my 4/4/4 on opi and dlpt upper range combined but you might be right and they're not looking for cleared linguist but rather for grunt with good evaluations..

No one wants to work with a dude who has a shitty attitude and thinks he's above things because he knows another language. You have a shitty attitude, and I would bet you carry that attitude into everything. There's probably always things you find beneath you, and you don't think you should have to lower yourself to being a team player, because you just want to do what you want to do.
 

highdigger

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Right. Thanks. Good bet. I never thought about it such way. I assumed since I got some useful skills that could be used in the broad types of assignments I can find the right fit in the military rather than doing something what I don't want yo do or have no necessary skills, attitude, physical or mental ability. I would rather let somebody who better fit/qualified/want it to get in than be unhappy, unmotivated guy between others who enjoy it and seeing me struggling makes their morale get low. Here's clearly misunderstanding, because I'm surprised to see such a negative reaction
 

policemedic

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You’re in the Army. You got to pick your MOS but that doesn’t mean you get to control your daily activities. You can and will be tasked to do things to support the overall mission. You may not like these things—and you’re neither required to nor expected to.

The Army trained you to do more than be a linguist. What did you think Basic Combat Training was for?

When I was a young man, I was assigned to a pretty damn good Infantry unit. We trained hard on our core mission—walking long distances with heavy rucks to shoot someone in the face—but we also did many other things. Non-Infantry things like post support cycles where we performed réveille and retreat ceremonies, etc. And we didn’t fucking whine about it.

No matter how good you are at your MOS, you will always be required to perform tasks and missions that are unrelated to your PMOS and that you may not understand the reason for. Your job is to give these assignments 110%...even if it’s painting and raking rocks. That takes discipline, which is something I suspect you are lacking.

There is a reason your applications are ending up in the circular file. Want to fix that? Get your shit in one bag, stop whining, be a team player, and ruck up. Do better, and better things will come your way.
 

CDG

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Right. Thanks. Good bet. I never thought about it such way. I assumed since I got some useful skills that could be used in the broad types of assignments I can find the right fit in the military rather than doing something what I don't want yo do or have no necessary skills, attitude, physical or mental ability. I would rather let somebody who better fit/qualified/want it to get in than be unhappy, unmotivated guy between others who enjoy it and seeing me struggling makes their morale get low. Here's clearly misunderstanding, because I'm surprised to see such a negative reaction

Hey man, the good thing is that an attitude is easily fixable if you want to improve. If you think you're getting a negative reaction here, you're looking at it wrong.
 

amlove21

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Right. Thanks. Good bet. I never thought about it such way. I assumed since I got some useful skills that could be used in the broad types of assignments I can find the right fit in the military rather than doing something what I don't want yo do or have no necessary skills, attitude, physical or mental ability. I would rather let somebody who better fit/qualified/want it to get in than be unhappy, unmotivated guy between others who enjoy it and seeing me struggling makes their morale get low. Here's clearly misunderstanding, because I'm surprised to see such a negative reaction
There's only a "negative reaction" from your perspective because, as humans, we evaluate others on their behavior and ourselves on our intent.

The members of the board here have seen possibly hundreds of people who behave like you and affect units negatively. I understand that you want to be used effectively and you think you have special skills that are valuable and no one is discounting that.

You may intend to be the best darn guy out there and leverage those skills into a successful Army then contractor career; but your behavior from a lot of data points leads some to believe otherwise and they're offering you a valuable course correction.

I'll tell you the same thing I tell my hard charging, brand new PJ's here at the schoolhouse.

"You're an operator now, and you have skills less than 1% of the military has ever or will ever possess. Your job at the unit is to take the trash out at the end of the day, clean the team room, and keep your opinions to yourself for about a year."
 
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